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State Best Interest and Protection of S.R.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

April 20, 2017

THE STATE OF TEXAS FOR THE BEST INTEREST AND PROTECTION OF S.R.

         On appeal from the Probate Court of Hidalgo County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Rodriguez and Hinojosa.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROGELIO VALDEZ Chief Justice.

         This is an accelerated appeal of the trial court's order committing appellant, S.R., to a mental health facility for the provision of temporary mental health services. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 574.070(a) (West, Westlaw through 2015 R.S.). By one issue, appellant challenges the legal sufficiency of the evidence to support the trial court's commitment order in appellate cause number 13-17-00129-CV. We affirm.

         I. Background

         The evidence at the commitment hearing showed the following. In December 2016, while responding to a welfare concern, a McAllen police officer found appellant sitting on a street curb wrapped in a blanket with her dog. According to the police officer, appellant had been seen wandering the streets the day before and appeared to be talking to her daughter although nobody was in her immediate presence. Appellant was not able to tell the officer where she lived. The police officer contacted appellant's daughters, but efforts to reunite appellant with her daughters were unsuccessful. The police officer then contacted appellant's mother. Appellant's mother agreed to take possession of appellant's dog but stated that she and appellant's daughters were afraid of appellant.[1]Thereafter, appellant was taken to a mental health hospital to be evaluated by a doctor. The doctor testified, among other things, that appellant was suffering from a delusional disorder and extreme paranoia and was refusing to be treated at the hospital.

         At the commitment hearing, appellant disputed the doctor's diagnosis regarding her mental health. Appellant testified that certain agents within the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are protecting her from her ex-husband and that she was waiting on them for a ride when the McAllen police officer approached her on the street curb. Appellant further testified:

Appellant: [The DEA] can prove to you, sir. . . .
Trial Court: Ma'am, what are the names of the DEA agents that you keep referring to? You said you knew their names. What are their names?
. . . .
Appellant: Brett Turkington. I have them written down.
Trial Court: When was the last time that you say you talked to that person? Just tell me the last time you say you talked to Brett Turkington with the DEA.
Appellant: Well, through the devices I speak with they [sic], sir.
Trial Court: When was the last time you spoke to them?
Appellant: Today. Through this device you can speak with them.
Trial Court: What device, ma'am?
Appellant: It's put in the ear. I don't know exactly where, but you can call them and they'll tell you.
Trial Court: You spoke to him. Anyone else you spoke to today? Did you advise him of this hearing today?
Appellant: They-they-yeah, they know of it, yes. Another one-
. . . .
Trial Court: Okay. Who else did you-you started telling me someone else you talked to.
Appellant: Jack Arnold.
Trial Court: When was the last time you talked to or had communication with Jack Arnold?
Appellant: I speak with him daily.
. . . .
Trial Court: Do you have a phone number for them?
Appellant: I do not have a phone number because I don't need to because of how I get to ...

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